UMD student fashion show celebrates spring with alumni designers

A cheering crowd, powerful struts down the runway and unique, stunning pieces showcased just some key elements from MasTERPiece’s fashion show “Spring: A Glimpse of Fantasy” last Friday. 

The club invited four designers, all University of Maryland alumni, to create a collection based on the show’s theme, with each designer representing an aspect of spring — love, bloom, fantasy, and Earth.

“Everyone has their different taste in fashion, and I just want people to be confident in what they wear,” MasTERPiece president Midiene Joseph said. 

Joseph, a junior marketing major, and Sydney Johnson, a junior finance and information systems major, hosted the event in Stamp Student Union’s Grand Ballroom. The Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, the fashion show’s sponsor, and student vendors also tabled at the show.

Joseph, wearing a one-sleeve, long green dress, reactivated MasTERPiece last semester to build a fashion community on campus and encourage students to pursue their fashion passions.

MasTERPiece invited Riddim Ryderz, this university’s Caribbean Dance Team, to kick off the show. The dance team brought the energy with controlled but vivid movements. 

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Dye For Me walked the runway first with eye-catching, contrasting bright and dark colors in each outfit. Created by Chase Wooten, a university alum who graduated in 2020, showcased a collection featuring many bright orange velour tracksuits with splashes of red alongside graphic tees and hoodies and crewnecks with intricate patterns.

Pieces with patches of hearts symbolized Wooten’s designated theme of love. The use of orange embodied the glowing aura of spring and the upcoming summer. 

“We like to upcycle and do DIY, grunge kind of feel for everything,” Wooten said. “It’s kind of the spirit of the brand.”

Outfits demonstrated the grunge and streetwear aesthetic with half-zipped hoodies, chains as accessories and baggy jeans and cargos. Models radiated swag in their walks.

“[Fashion] has a lot to do with self-expression, like what you want to show the world and show your own personal style,” Prem Patel, a model and freshman biology major said. 

Next up was OC Apparel by Omar Conteh.

OC Apparel’s presentation featured a comfy looking set with a quarter-zip sweater and straight pants — both featuring an OC logo on the side. Conteh brought his spring theme to life with a pair of jeans decorated in white raindrops, a pretty pink skirt with a pink rose and a sky-blue collared-tank dress featuring another pink flower in the middle. 

“I definitely had fun with it,” Conteh said. “I like to experiment with a lot of things.”

Conteh, an information science alum who graduated from this university in 2022, said he first learned how to sew in 2019. 

Conteh said sewing was an outlet to express this love and passion. OC, he added, is about self-perception and how you change your demeanor towards situations in life. 

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Cozy Crochet by Jayda continued Friday’s show with crocheted works.

“I used to [walk] shows when I went to UMD,” Jayda Smith said. “It’s a full circle moment to be the designer.”

Smith learned how to crochet from her mom when she was a little girl, crocheted more during the COVID-19 pandemic to destress from her job.

Cozy Crochet by Jayda presented two-piece dress sets, beautiful tops— including a halter top, a see-through floral patterned top, a dress perfect for spring and summer and an oversized patchwork cardigan. Smith used various greens and blues such as teal and turquoise to highlight the fantasy theme. 

A perfect fit for university alum Saba Tshibaka’s company, Rendered Inc., was the Earth theme. 

Rendered Inc.’s collection varied from beautiful skin-tight dresses to casual wear to bathing suits. Tshibaka also revealed a favorite piece — a red and orange, round neck ankle-length dress.

Tshibaka also encouraged attendees to remove self-imposed limits on their passions.

“Do what you’re passionate about, and I tell you, that will be the key to happiness,” Tshibaka said. “No matter how old you are, no matter what year you’re graduating or whatever you’re majoring in, you guys can go out and do amazing things.”

In a touching closing moment, the models, e-board and designers came together for a final runway walk.

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